Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Top and Bottom

As with every year, my brother commissions me to make him an illustration for his Christmas gift... Typically in the "Sci-Fi/Fantasy" genre. Thus, every year around this time I have something to blog about. I think I topped myself this year... I resorted to a similar concept as the DNA Tree  back in 0'... something, and created an outdoor scene with various animals both land-based and water-based. What made this one a little different than the ol' DNA Tree is that rather than make a couple of different pictures with various scenery, I did a split screen of sorts with the land scenery and the underwater scenery. A lot of the animals share white mask-like faces, others don't... There's no logic behind that, it just turned out that way... And I'm not all that original.

In any case, I don't like to ramble about my work, it makes me sound like a stuck up artist. I just like to draw. Enjoy!
Merry Belated Christmas and an even Happier New Year for ya! ... None of that "Happy Holiday" nonsense. I don't care what holiday you celebrate, I celebrate Christmas so I'm wishing you a Merry Christmas. Though you're more than welcome to have a happy "whatever you celebrate".

~ Mark

Friday, December 17, 2010

Video Game Tribute #14 – X-Men (Arcade)

I had all but forgotten this little gem from my childhood until XBox Live and PS3 revived this masterpiece of beat em' up arcade history... X-MEN!!! So just to clarify, the world of Arcades has gone through a few phases in our time... In the 70s and 80s, it was all about Asteroids, Centipede, Space Invaders and Donkey Kong... Simple pixelated shapes doing simple pixelated actions. Soon thereafter the 16-bit arcade era hit the gaming world like a sucker punch from your disgruntled Italian grandmother and trips to beach became less about the beach and more about the boardwalk arcades... Oh, it was glorious... Though I was raised in New England where the beach water is black and the temperature is 30 below... So the boardwalk makes sense.

In any case, this era was all about beat em' ups. The Simpsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles... And the one, the only, X-MEN. Granted there was nothing all that distinguishable about this game, it played like the others; supermoves that drain your health, enemies which were little more than color swaps to distinguish difficulty, bosses which would eat your quarters faster than the parking meters in Portsmouth, NH. What drew so many people to this game, however, was the fact that it was SIX PLAYER. That's right, the arcade itself was amongst some of the first wide screens ever... Or maybe it was two arcade screens next to each other... I honestly can't remember, all I know is it was HUGE. Especially when you're 9 years old. on top of this, comic books were all the rage, and the X-Men always took the cake, so we were all finally getting to interact with some of our favorite characters including Wolverine, Nightcrawler and... Dazzler... Okay, that was an odd choice, but still, the other characters were well worth it. I typically chose Nightcrawler cause let's face it... he rules. Usually the last person to join got stuck with Dazzler. Nobody wants to play as Dazzler.

Also memorable was how not every character was known for any kind of projectile mutant power, so the game had to improvise so each player could wipe out a screen full of badies... So Wolverine suddenly had the power to shoot shock-waves from his claws, Colossus would just emit a huge burst of energy from his metallic body (cause that makes sense), and Nightcrawler ran around the screen super fast and killed everything... What are you gonna do though, it was the early 90s, nobody cared about logic. Now people just think they do.

Also memorable (and I don't even really need to bring this up cause everybody already knows) was the broken English translations... Naturally, the game was made in Japan (cause what awesome game back then wasn't?) so you'd get one very epic moment where Magneto would appear on the screen and shout "X-Men! Welcome to Die!"... Oh man. I love it. Though, I can't really add this moment to my childhood memories because arcades were always so loud that you could never actually hear any of the dialogue coming out of the game you were playing... It could have been chanting antisemitic curses and nobody would have known... I discovered this catchphrase in High School when the PC program "MAME" came out and I was able to play this game on the emulator. I miss those days.

I finally got to play this game again last night when I downloaded it on XBox Live and I must say... It is just as I remembered and twice as fun... Sure I'm not getting the grandeur of playing in an arcade with my brothers and friends, surrounded by people watching us slice through hoards of multi-colored Sentinels, but I am getting the satisfaction of playing this game on an HD TV in the comfort of my bed with a coffee in hand and a song in my heart! I'm also reliving the frustration of fighting Magneto... I'd be broke if the XBox took a quarter out of my banking account every time I had to continue... It's like Magneto is literally jumping out of my screen and magnetically pulling the spare change from my pockets. Oh what fun times...

Welcome to DIE!
~ Mark

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mean Caffeine

I was thinking today about how much I absolutely crave Starbucks at any given time... It's almost cruel how addicted they've made me... When suffering caffeine withdrawal I sometimes see this little guy running around in my head...

Num num num!!!
~ Mark

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

AWESOME!: Santa Claus

Tis' the season to be jolly... And what's jollier than a flamboyant fat man flying through the sky dropping presents on unsuspecting children! You wanna know what awesome is, I'll tell you about the living, breathing embodiment of awesome... a magical being spawned from the good deeds and fictional beliefs of good boys and girls all around the world (but mainly America)... I'm of course talking about Jolly Old Saint Nick, the King of Kringles... Santa Claus!! Is he real? Oh come now. Of course he is!! Why has no one seen him? Well, according to C.S. Lewis, the man lives in Narnia... My guess as to why he lives there has something to do with the fact the US outlawed him from our dimension because he kept giving kids crossbows and swords as presents... So we get a much more toned down version of Santa than we used to back in medieval times. Just another reason why Santa is AWESOME!
Though if you ask me, I think the myth about reindeer and brightly colored robes is a little outdated, we'd see that coming from a mile away... I'm fairly certain Santa has had to up his game in more recent years. Any man who gave children crossbows in the 1950's has definitely caught up with the times. My theory is the reason we don't see Santa ever is because he's gone all covert ops; I'm talking 9 black ops helicopters, night vision goggles, the whole shebang... And don't mess with his elves, each one is highly trained to kill all the bad little boys and girls... No more coal. You just die.
Santa's so awesome it makes my head want to explode! Anybody who thinks their parents are buying their gifts every year at Christmas is a fool. They're in on it... And when you have kids, you'll be in on it too. Don't be surprised when one of Santa's little helpers shows up in your room at 3 in the morning with an offer. If you're not in, your kids get NOTHING. Just be glad this isn't another country though... Why do you think the US is in so much debt? We practically pay to keep his toyshop running just to keep our families alive... I hear over in France he straight up burns your house down if you don't accept.
That is why Santa is Awesome... He'll kill to keep kids happy. You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why... Santa's gonna shiv you!
~ Mark

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Keith vs Mark: Battle for Donahue

A few days ago, my good friend The Keith wondered what would happen if we fought to the death outside Donahue Hall (a dormitory at UMass-Lowell)... This was the simulation he came up with. Evidently our duel is interrupted by yet another... The dreaded Jacktopuss!!

In response to this video, I (Mark) decided to continue this epic battle...

Here's hoping The Keith chooses to continue the saga...
~ Mark

Friday, November 19, 2010

Big Mac Attack!

No PUN intended hahahaha!!!

~ Mark

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Craft the Stars!

My very first post on this blog was an illustration depicting my and my brothers in our video game persona's from "Hellgate:London" (an online game from the good old days). I figured I'd follow this drawing up with another depiction of ourselves as our in-game persona's from "Starcraft"... Me, being the evil alien scumbag that I am, my brother Brian as the ever heroic neutral Human, and my oldest brother Matthew as a hi-tech alien warrior.

The title of this drawing is a nod to our emails to each other when we wish to engage in galactic combat.. "Re: LET US CRAFT THE STARS MY BROTHERS!!!"


~ Mark

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Something's on the way...

Well played, The Keith,
~ Mark

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Video Game Tribute #13 – Starcraft

My next tribute goes out to one of the greatest Real Time Strategy games our generation has ever witnessed… And I'm not talking about Warcraft. Warcraft is child's play compared to this… I'm of course talking about Starcraft!

Starcraft allows you to take control of three different races and battle each other to the death for domination of the entire galaxy. Those three races are as follows… 1.)  Terrans - Because what space game isn't complete without the incredibly mediocre humans? 2.) Zerg - Pretty much a big animalistic Alien species hell-bent on devouring and destroying everything in their path like a parasite… Think about Marvel's Brood meets the bugs from Starship Troopers. 3.) Protoss - Basically the baddest aliens in the universe, they have energy blades, shields, and the ability to kick your hyde no matter what race you're using. I'm sure the game tried their best to balance all the races, but really, these guys are more like a cheat code come to life.

The gameplay goes something like this… You start out with a main command center and a couple of miners. You gather minerals and gas (think of it as money) so you can construct an army. You begin to build structures which allow you to build various army units and all the while you build defenses for your base. Now that you're base is guarded and your army is ready to kick butt, you go out and annihilate the enemy… Or get annihilated… Which will most likely happen. This game shows no mercy. The campaign has a lot of varied styles of missions, defense missions, assassination missions, escort missions, and straight up dog fights. The multiplayer version is really about you and a teammate building armies and taking on the computer… Which I must warn you is the most frustrating thing you can ever do.

Why is it frustrating? Because, it's a tradition that computer games cheat. While you're still gathering minerals to build your basic fighting units, the game has managed to amass a thousand-unit death squad and have sent them to rape, pillage, burn and re-rape your puny two-man army. Seriously. As much as I love this game, I want to throw my computer out a window and onto a homeless man just so I can have the satisfaction of killing SOMETHING.

Really, you should check it out though, it rocks.

Live for the swarm!
~ Mark

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Illustration for Rachael

So I have a pretty awesome girlfriend. She asked me early on when we started dating (08') to make her an illustration of a little girl sleeping in the shadow of God... It took me a while to figure out exactly how something like that would look. Naturally, I reverted to my usual take on things Godly... Draw a tree.

In this drawing, there's more symbolism than I'm used to doing... Not that it's anything profound, but rather than just drawing a tree with a cross on it, I used the tree to symbolize not just God, but the whole Trinity... You'll notice there's three parts to the tree. The obvious is the tree itself, the brown trunk rising from the ground. There's a few things to note on this tree: There's three nails sticking out of it (a little generic, I know), there's a rose in the center (assuming you can make out that it's a rose) which is held up by a rose vine, thorns and all. This part is (if you haven't guessed) Christ, the son.

Behind the tree there is a much larger shadowy tree. It has visible roots which extend along the sides... It also has branches which almost begin to dissolve or float away in the air... There's a Hebrew letter in those branches (if you can find it) which is called "Shin", which stands for the name "Shaddai", a name for God. i.e. The Father. The third part of the tree is the ghostly light hovering in the branches, making up a sort of spiritual cluster of leaves. Holy Spirit.

Of course, the shadow of the tree which the little girl is resting in forms a cross... And you can make your own interpretation for this, I'm sure it'll be the same as most others.

Anyway, I hope you like it, Rachael. I wanted to draw this for two years now for you, and I hope you didn't think it was due to any kind of laziness that it took so long... I just wanted to be sure I made something relevant that you could enjoy. I don't think anything I attempt to create for you should ever be rushed, you deserve better:) < --- Would like to point out that this is the first smiley emoticon that I have ever used in my blog... And it will be the last:) ... Dangit!

I love you, Rach,
~ Mark

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Many Faces of Arnold Schwarzenegger

So recently I've been watching a LOT of Governator movies... And I'm not talking about just his classics, like Predator and Terminator... I'm talking about the reaaallly obscure ones... I'm talking about "Hercules in New York" (quite possibly the worst movie on the planet), I'm talking about "Raw Deal", I'm talking "Red Sonja", "Red Heat" and yes... Even "Conan The Destroyer" (Not to be confused with Conan the Barbarian, which I have also watched). My body is overdosing on masculinity and testosterone and I'm at a point where NO Arnold movie is too horrible for me...

But let's be real, a lot of his movies are really, really good... Even in his bad movies, he's able to bring a certain charm to them... If you're a guy, then you NO DOUBT love watching his movies. He may not be the father of action movies, but he sure is the step dad... And I've heard a lot of debate about who's better; Arnold or Sylvester. When you rack up the amount of instant classics and critically acclaimed movies belong to Arnold, then take into account that Sylvester's hits are usually sequels to either Rocky or Rambo, it's not hard to see who the real face of action is... And don't get me wrong, I LOVE ME SOME STALLONE... But at the end of the day, make mine an "I'll be back" martini.

So in honor of the great Governator of California, I've created an illustration depicting each of his on-screen persona's in a little ditty I like to call... "The Many Faces of Arnold Schwarzenegger"!


Hasta Lavista Baby,
~ Mark

Friday, October 29, 2010


I did a little doodlin' today... My buddy Dan has been real into Superman as of late, which got me feelin' like I need a Superman fix... So I drew Bizarro.

Bizarro smash! ... no wait... that's the Hulk.
~ Mark

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Super Murder Death Kill Animal Squad

Recently I went on a rant about an experience I had at a laundromat... But that's a story for another time. The reason I bring this up is because in that story I made note of the fact it was Sunday and there were cartoons on, which I found strange. I went on to point out that there was a very distinct difference between Sunday morning cartoons and Saturday morning cartoons... At least that's how it was for me growing up. Saturday was the good stuff... Action, violence, humor... All the stuff a growing boy needs. Sunday however was all about education... Kids going on adventures and learning about math. What horrors.

Anyway, as I talked about what made Saturday morning cartoons so great, I had no choice but to illustrate what was so awesome about them... This is what I came up with...

Murder Death Kill!
~ Mark

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

AWESOME! - The WWF of the 80s

So. You think you're a man? I'm not so sure you're being accurate with me. To be honest, if you were born in the 90's, then I'm almost positive that you are anything but a real man. Maybe a guy... Or a dude... But in no way are you a MAN. Why? You think you can handle the awesomeness I'm about to unleash on you?? Very well... You're not a man because REAL MEN watched the World Wrestling Federation in the 80's! Oh, you wanna call it the WWE? THAT FURTHER PROVES YOUR LACK OF MANHOOD!

You wanna know why your WWE is so puny and wimpy? Because you surrendered your original title of WWF to the "World Wide Fund for Nature"... You bent over and took a spanking from a nature organization! Wrestlers were once the epitome of manliness, steroid-induced glistening muscles and literally NO FEAR of their flamboyant appearance... It takes a real man to dress like an electric drag queen and beat another man to a pulp. You didn't mess with those guys, regardless of how ridiculous they looked. But in the end, men like Stone Cold Steve Austin and HHH and their "Bad Boy" image cowered in fear at the mighty heal of... A Nature organization... You know what 80's Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage would have done to that company? They'd punch their panda's in the face and body slam a puppy! That's some REAL man stuff for ya!

But in all seriousness... The WWF was the golden age of childhood for me and my brothers. It used to be about gimmicks, flashy costumes, entertainment and at the end of the day, family fun. It was the kind of thing you could watch with your dad, or the kind of thing you wouldn't have to mute immediately when your mom walked in the room... It was the kind of violence that everyone could encourage! Nowadays it's a blight on entertainment. What was once meant for a classier audience has now been reduced to White Trash Weekly. Foul language, extreme sexuality, even sacrilege (i.e. Stone Cold's 3:16 speech). And where's the uniqueness in characters? It once played out like a comic book, interesting stage names, costumes, finishing moves, good guys helping the good guys, bad guys always cheating... The WWE is nothing more than a bunch of guys in black going by their real names and cursing at each other. I just don't get it.

Now, granted, I understand that to show something like the 80's WWF would be mocked repeatedly were it presented to a younger audience, but that's kind of what made it awesome... It would become nostalgic, a real landmark in entertainment history. I doubt you'll get anything as memorable out of a couple guys in black speedos flipping each other off and ranting about how many women they've conquered. We'll probably never again remember names as unique as Koko B. Ware, nor will we remember a costume as flamboyantly warlike as the Ultimate Warrior. Historical moments like when Hogan body slammed Andre the Giant will probably never capture America again... It's actually kind of sad to see a franchise like the WWF sink to the standards of the WWE.

But I've whined enough. If you really want to kick back and lose your mind in nostalgia for a few hours, go out and get an old School WWF DVD.

~ Mark

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

On a Train - Colored Sketches part II

So with every train ride taken, there is a returning train ride to take... Which in this case means more colored sketches...

I've made some posts on a web comic I was working on called "Abundant Life"... What I probably didn't mention was that I was working on a second series which would take place directly after. It was going to deal with a group of new recruits who would yet again be based off of some buddies of mine at school... I obviously never got around to any of this, but I did sketch out some of the characters... So I decided to color a couple of them...

Our first contestant... Sara Muccos... I know that's not the proper spelling, but it's more a play on the name of the person she's based off of... Can you guess what her super power is? Yeah, it's a little gross, but I swear, her name sounds almost identical to Mucus! So I designed this girl who would wear a "nose" outfit and could control a green blob-like substance and bend it to her will... If you get past the grotesque nature of the concept, it's actually kinda' cool I think... Oh like you were never a kid!

Character numero Dues is named "Ultra"... featuring her pet, "The Jeffbeast"... Can you guess the name of the guy that inspired "Jeffbeast"? I'll give you a hint... It starts with "Jeff"... That's just how original I am. Anyway, Ultra was designed after my good friend Emma... I don't remember where the name "Ultra" came from exactly, but I did admire her ability to knit a mean scarf, so her superpowers involve a lot of scarves. Jeff is her husband, I figured he'd make a cool beast, because he could totally beat up. I don't know why I gave him a DNA theme... I think I was going with drumsticks (cause he plays the drums) and somehow those morphed into DNA strands... There's not a lot of logic in the things that I do...

Anyway, that's all I colored on the train back from Maryland... Enjoy!

~ Mark

Monday, October 11, 2010

On a Train - Colored Sketches

So I took a train down to Maryland this weekend from the most delightful city of Boston... Had no idea how long 7 hours can really be... At least there was a lot of leg room... Even better was how each seat had a power socket...

So I busted out my trusty lil' MacBook Pro and gots busay. I found a number of sketches on my laptop that I had wanted to color in the past but just didn't get around to... So I got around to it... I mean what else are you gonna do?

The first sketch I colored was a little angel... demon... fairy thing I had doodled a few years back. This was really just a warm up drawing, so nothing all that impressive... But I'd be pleased if one of these little guys flew into my room at night for a chit chat. He kind of looks like he should be a really girly tattoo... I mean, I'd wear it, but I'm sure I'd get made fun of for it...

I have to admit, I'm more of a Marvel person, but like most, I gots nothin' but love for the man of steel and the world's greatest detective... So from time to time I like to doodle these characters... I went with a cuter version of them, it seems to be a style that's been showing up a lot more, especially with the rise of "The Superhero Squad"... Which is an awesome show, I don't care if you're 27, you watch that show dangit! YOU LOVE IT!

Finally, this last drawing was a sketch I made a while back which I actually posted on this blog... I recently colored in one of those sketches (Donkey Kong) and was so happy with how it turned out that I figured, why not... Let's color in Mario. So here he is... Mario... Jumping out of a castle (which obviously did not house the Princess) with a fire-flower. I actually didn't like how the flower came out originally, so I decided to light in on fire to cover up my shame...

I also didn't know if I wanted to be 100% accurate with the coloring or not... You figure if Mario has the flower, then he should be in white overalls... But then, maybe he hasn't used it yet... And maybe I just plain love the blue overalls... Because I hate making decisions (which drives my girlfriend crazy, might I add), I just made both versions...

Again, it was a long train ride...
~ Mark

Monday, October 4, 2010

AWESOME! - Benny Goodman

I'm going to tell you about a man. A Good Man. A man who not only gave birth to a new era of musical freedom, but also inspired racial tolerance and one AWESOME Chips-Ahoy commercial. He is a man whom you are most likely not familiar with, but were most likely influenced by whilst going through your obnoxious teenage acceptance in being weird phase... No, he is no punk rocker... I'm talking about the "King of Swing", "The Patriarch of the Clarinet"... Mr. Benny Goodman.

What, you don't know the name? Well you should, and you had better most absolutely have that name CARVED in your brain by the time I'm finished writing. Odds are if you were born in the 90's/late 80's, your only knowledge of "Swing Music" is The Brian Setzer Orchestra or the Cherry Poppin' Daddies. I should slap you for being so ignorant. You probably thought that was a new style, a reason to dress like a bad episode of Happy Days on LSD in a desperate attempt to be "different" in a High School full of Goths, Preps and Jocks. Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you... In your desperation to annoy your parents, you actually embraced the music they were most likely brought up on. Swing Music was in fact birthed in the 1930's and was pioneered by one man. The Late Benny Goodman. The Man Is So Talented That Every Word In A Sentence Which Mentions His Name (Benny Goodman) Needs To Be Capitalized To Emphasize His Greatness. His instrument of choice? Not a guitar. Not the drums. And not a whiny emo voice or a fake punk rock accent... But a Clarinet. The most elegant of the woodwinds. When he played that magical device, it was as though the world stopped for a brief moment just to take in a beauty which had been lost since the fall of man.

And for the record... There is nothing dorky or girly about the Clarinet... To master it requires years and years and just a few more years for good measure of practice. Any schmuck off the street can pick up a guitar and figure out a riff that goes well with lyrics about how nobody understands you. It was a Clarinetist who dawned a new era of racial tolerance... Benny Goodman was amongst the first musicians to allow black musicians in his band, and this happened ten years before Jackie Robinson would play Major League Baseball. That's right, the man's a Saint. So Saintly in fact that when the Bible speaks of Trumpets resounding, hailing the return of Christ, there will be a Clarinetist among them...

Amongst other reasons for my love of the man's legacy is that he inspired my great grandfather to play the Clarinet, which he passed onto his son, my Grandfather Louis Marianelli (one of the most important men in my life after my father), who then passed on the talent to my father, who passed it on to me... I feel bad that I never continued playing after sophomore year... My band instructor wanted me to play Tuba... And I complied. But I still have much love for the Clarinet and will one day pick it up again... And it will be... AWESOME.

Whether you love or hate Swing Music, I'll bet you tapped your foot whenever that Chips Ahoy commercial aired on television to the sound of "Sing, Sing, Sing"... Compliments of Saint Benjamin of Good Men!

You Will Be Missed, Benny,
~ Mark


Think of him as a Galactus rip-off... With a bad grasp of the English language...

A  world to die!!
~ Mark

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

AWESOME! - Tiger Electronics

Video gaming. Think of every gaming system you've ever played. Atari? NES? Sega Genesis? No, no... Let's talk hand-held systems... Game Gear? Nintendo DS? PSP? ... I'll bet there's one system you haven't thought of... Nope, not an iPhone. Clearly you're not thinking AWESOME enough... You're not thinking... TIGER ELECTRONICS. Oh yeah... I'll bet the memories are flooding through your brain now... Cutting yourself on impossible plastic packaging, realizing you don't have the right kind of battery... Nor do you have any idea what kind you're supposed to buy, looking for more light so you can see the LCD characters more clearly... That tiny little reset button that requires a pencil to get at... Oh yeah. Now you're a kid again.

If you were anything like me growing up, you didn't get to have all the fancy 16-bit consoles which dominated the video game market in the 90s. You had the NES. So imagine the dissatisfaction of watching commercials for games like Street Fighter II or Mortal Kombat and realizing you have absolutely ZERO means of playing these monumental games... Your options? Save up enough quarters and pray your parents take you to Hampton Beach so you can totally ignore the ocean and spend your afternoon in the arcade... Or you bought the TIGER Hand-held version of that epic game. And let me tell ya', if you thought the 8-bit graphics on the NES were bad, wait till' you get a TIGER UPPERCUT IN THE FACE from an LCD Sagat who looks absolutely nothing like his 16-bit counterpart...

You wanna' know hardcore video game devotion? Then you buy yourself a TIGER handheld video game and watch a true fan of video games indulge in the "oregano dime-bag" of the gaming world. When you couldn't afford to play the real thing, you endured the cheap substitute... And after years of suffering through the black and green madness that is LCD graphics, you know what happens? You awaken yourself to one AWESOME realization... These games are kinda' addictive. And I'll be honest, they are capable of providing hours of simple good ol' fashioned fun without the use of flashy graphics and impressive sound effects. TIGER understood the roots of true gaming. It's not about bits, it's about fun and imagination. No story line, no stages, just easy gameplay and something even more special... A video game you can actually play in the bathroom. No really, try hooking up a Sega Genesis in your bathroom. Two things'll happen: A.) Your mom/wife/whoever you're living with that's not a dude will get mad at you and B.) You'll most likely electrocute yourself.

~ Mark

Chronicles of the Refigerator Man

There was a video me and two of my friends (Dan and Kevin) filmed back in High School called "The Refrigerator Man" ... Definitely the finest Amateur Cinema has to offer. In a nutshell it was about a serial killer who traveled through refrigerators and, well... Killed people. There's a lot more to it, but I don't want to give too much away seeing as we're planning on turning it into a graphic novel down the road... I have a lot of pending projects... It's a little depressing.

In any case, here's some art work for it!

Not da' Cooler!!
~ Mark

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

AWESOME! - 80's Robots - Short Circuit/Flight of the Navigator

There are few truths in this world that I hold on to… One, there is a God… Two, dogs are awesome (but I should save that for another post) and Three… There is nothing on this planet greater than the sheer glory of cuddly 80s robots! I'm sure your mind is going a mile a minute right now trying to gather as much intel as you can on your childhood… You may be thinking "Batteries not Included", you may be thinking of Paulie's "present" from ROCKY IV… Or maybe your mind's dial is set to AWESOME today and you're thinking about the greatest science fiction movies to come out of those heavenly 80s… And no, I'm not talking about Return of the Jedi (because there's nothing cute about C3P0) and the Terminator isn't cute, he kills… I'm talking about SHORT CIRCUIT and FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR! Granted, MAX from Navigator was more of an Alien than a robot, but I mean, come on... He's made of metal and he's plugged into a spaceship.

Now I know "cuddly" might be a little off when describing something as devastatingly awesome as robots... But with all the mechanical violence and chaos going around in the 80s, these two movies were a glimmer of hope in a cruel, cruel world... Terminator, Robocop, Cyborg... gulp... Superman III... (shivers), terribly morbid in nature, and kids love robots! Imagine how many unsuspecting children were drawn to the lulls of Arnold's "I'll Be Back" and spent the night hiding under their covers in a pile a sweat and possibly pee... (lay off, I was a kid! I pee'd!). Terminated. But let's be real, my parents didn't let me watch R-rated movies when I was a little boy, shame on them... So what was my comfort food? TV recordings of both Short Circuit and Flight of the Navigator. I'd like to meet the one person on this planet who thinks Number 5 is NOT alive... I'd like to meet him and ask why he wasn't tantalized by the site of robots shooting lasers and reciting The Three Stooges, then I'd wonder why he didn't shed half a tear over the thought of poor 'Number 5' being hunted down like an animal and disassembled... NO DISASSEMBLE!! ... How does such a cold-hearted individual claim to be more human than the time traveling cybernetic alien space craft MAX... Maybe the communists of the 80s that we tried so hard to silence had a point, maybe Johnny #5 needs to hop on board the USS Trimaxion Drone Ship and enforce some serious propaganda on the real enemy of the 80s... Anyone who hated these movies!

You wanna know why these movies are so great? They came out at a time when kids movies were appealing to all age groups. There was little segregation in the film world... There was PG and there was R. "R" meant you were getting a gore-fest full of profanities and nudity, "G" meant you were getting Disney... PG meant you were getting the middle ground. These are iconic of that time period. Sure, Short Circuit had a family-friendly agenda, but when you think about it, how many kid-oriented movies have opening scenes with Robots mixing a gin and tonic? Even Flight of the Navigator (which was a made-for-tv Disney movie) had a very serious tone to it, and quite frankly it was a little unsettling having David return home only to find the world thought he was dead for 8 years, his family has aged tremendously and the government wants to experiment on him... It's not like movies where a kid winds up in the future and everything is technologically advanced and fascinating, he was flat-out terrified. Plus his brain was being experimented on and almost got fried in the process. That's pretty awesome. Nowadays it's all about flashy colors, campy bad guys and bad pop music.

It's also reminiscent of a time when you didn't need to use CGI to achieve visual amazement. Flight of the Navigator conquered some of the best effects I've ever scene, and it was done with very, very minimal computer graphics and mainly utilized optical illusions and stop-motion animation. Short Circuit used animatronics, not once did you see a computer-created image... Nowadays half the robots would be CG and they'd be performing stunts completely unrealistic to their actual design, thus killing any hope of believability. Film making has gotten lazy.

In a nutshell, there's nothing nostalgic about the time we live in, kids are growing up with bright colors, silly songs and straight up campiness. It's pathetic. Lets bring it back to a simpler time when a kid AND an adult could get lost in a world where robots can be your friend...

See ya' later alligator!
~ Mark

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kindergarten Robo Cop

Doodled something similar to this back in 2002 and ran it in the ol' school paper... Sadly I wasn't the best artist in the world, so it was long overdue for a makeover... which is what this little ditty is.

Can't say there was any real reasoning behind the drawing... Though if you watch Robocop 2, you might see a similarity in the concept. Basically the government felt Robocop was too violent, so they reprogrammed him to be more kid-friendly... So I just took that a step further and put him in a school... threatening a problem child.

You know... his methods remind me of being in Sunday School... Church was much more strict in the 80's...

Thank you for your cooperation,
~ Mark

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Video Game Tribute #12 – Sim Ant

In all my reminiscing of the NES oldies and common classics, I forgot about this little gem which most likely slipped under the radar of a lot of casual gamers in the 90's. I think we've all at least heard of Sim City, an old computer classic from 1989 and maybe even the more popular "The Sims" from 2000 on... For a good while Maxis' famed "Sim" games were on top of the world. There was Sim Life, Sim Earth, Sim Park, and about 6 different versions of Sim City... But there was one Sim game which will always stand out as the greatest and most unique of the Sim Franchise... Sim Ant.

What's "Sim Ant" you say? Exactly what it sounds like... An Ant Simulation video game. When I first heard of it, I couldn't fathom the possibilities of controlling the mighty Ant Kingdom... But man, oh man, was I in for a treat. The game begins with the hatching of a lone ant at the side of his (her? Do ants really have genders? You can get ants in your pants, but what do ants have in their pants??) mighty Queen (oh, Queen... maybe they do have a gender). What's unique about this ant is that he's yellow... I honestly have no idea what the logic was here other than you needed to distinguish the main ant from the others. From here you go and gather food for the queen, you leave the ant hill, get these little green pebbles, and bring them back to the hill... Wow, so epic. You know nothing!!! You think just getting a green pebble is easy for an ant?? Try getting that pebble when you have giant spiders chasing you, stupid kids mowing their lawn right over your precious ant-country, pillbugs hiding in what you think is an ant hill but NO, it's no ant hill it's a big bug that eats you!! And all you wanted to do was feed your queen!! But it doesn't stop there, there's an even greater threat... competition. The confederate forces of the Red Ants. Not sure that they're confederate... More like communists. Though I think the Cold War was over by the time this game came out, so I guess they're just fire ants. Not as exciting.

All I'm sayin' is, Sim Ant is the most epic portrayal of Ant Life that I have ever witnessed/interacted with in my entire life. It's the Braveheart of the ant world. You're a yellow William Wallace... Or a Black William Wallace... You're technically running the black colony... You know now that I think about it, this game may have more to do with race than it does politics. Yikes. But I'm not gonna' go there. All these ants really want is FREEEDDDOOOMMMM!!!!!

Ants in your pants? No...

Scottish Warlords in your pants.
~ Mark

Monday, September 20, 2010

AWESOME! - Saliva: Every Six Seconds

We all have that one album. You know the album I'm talking about. The album that every time it comes on, you sink into nostalgic euphoria, kick back and forget all your worries. For me, that's "Every Six Seconds" by Saliva... Only it's not the kind of album I lean my head back and relax to... It's the kind of album that makes you wanna' run outside and fight a tiger... It's so awesome that even if you live in New Hampshire where there are no Tigers, a bear will emerge from the forest, mate with a stray cat and instantaneously give birth via Alien chest-burster to a Tiger with which you may then wrestle to your heart's content to the gut-shaking bass of "Click Click Boom".

I'm sure we've all gotten over Nu-Metal, and I've heard Every Six Seconds classified as such, but when you get down to it, it's just straight up annoy-your-parents rock n' roll. Say what you will about the band, I'll admit their recent efforts have been lacking, but Josey Scott's vocals on this album are superb, there's no denying that. Seriously, try and deny that... I'll smack you. Better yet, Josey Scott'll smack you... Heck when that guy screams "Make me a Superstar", his voice Shoryuken's you in the face... As a matter of fact, every time that song plays, I imagine Josey Scott punching Godzilla's head off over the fiery pits of hell (picture it sometime, way more epic)... But not the Japanese Godzilla... Matthew Broderick's Godzilla. The real Godzilla's awesomeness may just rival Saliva's frontman on a bad day.

You can think of this album like Bungee Jumping... You immediately immerse yourself in the heavy-hitter "Superstar", after the initial shock of rocking your face off, you begin to feel a little euphoric in the melodic, yet still heavy, "Musta' Been Wrong", now you're about to land upon your watery death and the adrenaline in your blood starts racing to the sounds of "Click Click Boom", but what's this? You're not dead, you've been bungeed, saved in the elastic goodness of "Your Disease", you wanna rock out, but you want to rock moderately... But what's this, you're no longer going up anymore, you're falling back down, what if the elastic doesn't hold, what cruel fate that would be! "The World is After Me"!!! (actually it's just "After Me")... Now you're back up, but the pace is slowing down some, not as terrifying, you can simply ease into the album and enjoy "Greater Than/Less Than", "Lackluster", "Faultline", "Beg" and "Hollywood"... it is what it is... You're now being brought back up, you gloat in your victory over death, you just took a ride on the "Doperide"... Now you look over the bridge and say "My Goodbyes"... Glorious.


Every Six Seconds... For the longest time people thought this was a reference to the myth (or reality) that every six seconds men think about sex... To the contrary, the band explained that every six seconds a new life-cycle occurs... But as far as I'm concerned, every six seconds this album is playing a knight slays a dragon, an angel gets its wings, a crack-addict finds Jesus, and I simply get shivers up my spine.

Basically, this album was the soundtrack to my Freshman year of college back in 2001, I listened to this religiously and to this day it brings me back to a simpler time when music could drown your sorrows. If you like hard rock, melodic riffs, good vocals and an angst you can work out to, than Saliva: Every Six Seconds is the album for you.

Nuff said.
~ Mark

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Brothers' Collaboration Part III

Worked on another picture with my brother... This time featuring a littler version of his monster encountering a friendly swamp creature...

Swamp Love!
~ Mark

Turble Concept Art

You know, in all the villain chaos, I forgot I don't have any real concept art of Turble... so yeah, here's one for our little furry hero!

Martini Madness!
~ Mark

Turble Villains #5

I like elephants… They're cute, my mom loves them, they helped train Tony Jaa into the killing machine he is today… There's just one thing that they're lacking. They don't spit hot fire! Out their trunks!

This is yet another concept art for a Turble Villain… He's cute, yet tortured. Even the cuddly ones feel pain…

~ Mark

Monday, September 13, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Baptizer 3000

I came across an old drawing I did in college for a comic strip I used to run in the school paper called "Sugar-Frosted Sea-Bunions" (I did a post on this a ways back). Now most of those drawings are either lost or simply outdated (i.e. they kind of suck), so every now and then I like to re-create them and make them look a little better.

The concept came from years of church and noticing the evolution of technology within the services… Back in the 80s, it was all about the hymnals… later in the 80's and 90's, transparencies were used to project the words to whatever worship song we were singing… Now in the 2000s we use projectors… Some churches even use giant tv screens… Pretty soon I'm sure we'll be using holograms… or wearing 3D glasses, that seems to be the trend nowadays… A dumb trend at that. Thank you James Cameron for ruining modern day cinema with your awesome movie!

Anyway, this drawing takes it a step further… With the BAPTIZER 3000! It's just the natural progression of things, why should the pastor get his nice suit all wet in a lake… or worse, bleached in a chlorine infested pool! No more expensive trips to the dry cleaners anymore, the Baptizer 3000 takes care of all your Baptizing needs!

Just don't get it wet!
~ Mark

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Donkey Kong Revisited...

You may remember an older post I did with a sketch I made of Donkey Kong… I always wondered how that would look colorized…

So here it is… Colorized.

Pretty self-explanatory.

~ Mark

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One of those days...

~ Mark


A lil' somethin' somethin' I doodled whilst at my abode last night… It's a turtle… man… octopus… hybrid… thing. He apparently lives. I figure this thing exists in some weird future where life is no more and this thing emerges from the depths of a swamp somewhere in the amazon… after California collided with that region in the great quake of 4020 AD… That's why a mutated Turtle in a post apocalyptic amazon happens to know English… It has New Yorker genes. I'll bet it makes a mean pizza pie!

I'm also going to assume the turtle isn't giving a declaration of its own existence, rather Steve Jobs actually owns a fraction of life in the distant future and branded it as "iLive".

Steve Jobs. He actually bought the future.
~ iMark

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Turble Villains #4

Part 4 in the concept art for Turble... Originally I doodled this guy to be the anti-Turble... Mainly due to his color Yellow being opposite Turble's Purple on the color wheel... I may keep with this theme due to the fact I haven't designed a main antagonist for the game yet... Or have I?!?! ... I have not.

I'm thinking the background images for these concept drawings may be the style I use for the game's backgrounds. I like simple. Making this character's wings pixelated was done purposely... I thought it gave it some uniqueness. I am pleased.

Without further ado...

Pixel Dust!
~ Mark

Friday, September 3, 2010

Turble Villains #3

Villain numéro trios! It's a cyborg bunny who spits vines and plants from his mouth… Not really sure what I was hoping to accomplish when I drew this one, but I'm just pleased that he kind of looks like a carrot. I wouldn't expect there to be any vegetation in a post apocalyptic world… But then, can you really blow up the ocean? … Maybe this bunny was created to spread new vegetative life on the planet… But then he wouldn't really be a villain anymore… I guess that just makes Turble an Anti-Hero.

There's a bit of subliminal messaging in the bunny's concept… He's spreading seeds and growing new life… Bunny's mate A LOT. So Yeah. Take that. I can be deep! Turble's got some real philosophical stuff goin on behind the scenes, aight??

There's also a flying creature in the background… I just wanted to fill up some more space… He's not a boss, just one of the game's enemies.

Bunny Hop!
~ Mark

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Turble Villains #2

Had some serious inspiration today to do some more concept art for the Turble Bosses... This particular one features a super intelligent trout operating a mechanical... amphibious... Whale thing... I think it's pretty awesome. Not sure what a boss battle with something like this would be like, but I imagine it would take place on some kind of water level. And I imagine in a post apocalyptic earth the water won't be clear and clean... It'll be icky... and will probably be something that hurts poor little Turble...

I don't wanna' hurt the little guy, I hope he wins.

Mecha Trout!!
~ Mark

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Turble Villains

I haven't forgotten about our most beloved futuristic, cannon-wielding, space gerbil... Whilst in the boringest (word?) of meetings today I sketched out some new bosses for my far-from-even being close to being close to finished side-scroller "Turble". Basically all the bosses are going to be some form of cybernetic-infused mutant... Because the plot will involve Turble going through the post apocalyptic wastelands of Earth in search of power cells for his dying robot uncle... Hence, the bosses are cyborgs who most likely have power cells... We have good ol' Danny G to thank for that classic plot.

Someday I hope to get cracking on this game... But in the meantime, enjoy the concept art!

kill turBle!
~ Mark

Monday, August 30, 2010

Abunantly 8-Bit!

Sometimes I get bored. When I get bored I like to imagine a world where 8-bit video gaming rules supreme. Not because I think it's a superior form of gaming (which it might just be)... But because it's so easy to create!

Either way, I thought I'd experiment a little in old school side-scrolling action and give myself a little day-break from working on Son'Uva. I basically took the character "Yellow Sonic" from my Abundant Life comics and made him into a gaming sprite... with very intangible pixelated graphics. He's running across a Lowell rooftop... The background looks more Atari than anything else, but that was a little last-minute addition to give the idea some perspective.

Don't be expecting any Abundant Life games (not anytime soon at least), but I just thought this would be fun to do. Click the below image to view...

Bite me!
~ Mark

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rambo: Salvation

Yeah... It's been about a month since my last post... What can I say, I'm busy yo!

But seriously, I've been moving into a new place, so my time has been incredibly limited. I've also been doing some behind the scenes work on Sonuva (behind the scenes meaning nothing visually new, but still pushing the production forward), I'll post an update soon on that.

In the meantime, here's a doodle I did during a time which I probably shouldn't have been doodling... Then I colored it... and here it is for your viewing pleasure.

Don't act like that wouldn't be the greatest movie of all time... DON'T EVEN! Remember, Rambo, pinky's out... if you're gonna kill, kill in good etiquette.

Back to work,
~ Mark

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sonuva part XXXXV

Alas, many moons have passed since my last true update... And odds are many more may pass as well. In case anybody is really all that interested, I recently got myself a new apartment and I've been rather busy cleaning it up to move into... Yeah, the last tenants were filthy... they also had a very odd obsession with "Finding Nemo", I keep finding Nemo stickers in odd places.

Anyway, I finished up Gazael's second special attack... She throws her halo, it slices, it dices... but I guess this demo doesn't show the slicing/dicing aspect of it... It just shows her throwing it. It's pretty cool nonetheless. Almost finished! Standing block, crouching block, throw and finisher to go... Next week I plan to get cracking on this game a little more intently and get back to regular updates... But we'll see.

Here's the latest animation...


And yeah, here's a fun lil' pic... Nothing all that new though, you've seen others like it...

Movin' on up,
~ Mark

Creative Commons License
Sonuva by Mark Marianelli is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Yeah, I haven't posted in a while... And to make it worse, I have nothing "art-related" to show you... I was in Texas, being a true cowboy... i.e. Eating Cajun food which gave me the runs and buying cowboy hats and belt buckles with big M's on them...

... What's that? You want proof?

Very well.

I'm not a cowboy... I'm an M-Boy! Yeah, I'll bet you never saw a thug country boy... Oh wait... that's what the "Derrty Souf" is, isn't it? ... Whatever.

My words of advice are radio edit,
~ Mark

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Something Quick...

I'm going to be leaving for a few days to visit my bro down in Texas with ma'lady... Sadly I have nothing new to show you before I depart... So I dug and dug through as many old files as I could on my macBook and discovered this little gem... Go on, click it...

You might recognize the guy in the lower left (mainly because it's yours truly). I used this little ditty to create my personal portfolio site. What you didn't know was that I created that as an older concept for the 6amcomics website... I ended up going in another direction and these lil' guys were ultimately lost in the archives of my cluttered macBook Pro... But thanks to my laziness, they may now see the light of day!

If you haven't figured it out, these are cartoon representations of the Six AM Boys, i.e. Dan, Kevin and myself. I went with certain themes for each of us based off of our various passions in life... I love movies, hence I got a Star Wars, Rocky and Bad Boys II... Dan got Zelda, God of War and Half-Life, cause he loves him some video games... Kevin's got a thing for superheros, so he got Green Lantern, Deadpool, and The Comedian.

Anyway, that's what I got for ya, sorry I couldn't bust out something awesome for the 4th... Maybe something belated, yes?

~ Mark

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Abundant Life Redo Part 3

Not much to say in the way of Abundant Life... These are the remaining panels that I've worked on to date...

Thought I'd have something interesting to say about this, did ya? Yeah... I got nothin'... Enjoy!

What epic story telling!!!
~ Mark